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2013 is a big year for three of our favorite Balboa Park museums. Guess who’s turning 30? 35? 50?! During May, head out and help these bastions of beauty and brains blow out their birthday candles.

Balboa Park museums are celebrating milestones.

1. The Mingei Museum is celebrating 35 in style, with guests in “ethnic elegant” dress enjoying the culinary explorations of beloved Tijuana chef Miguel Ángel Guerrero. The evening soiree honors longtime supporter and honoree Audrey Geisel and features live and silent auctions plus a tribute to the museum’s first-ever exhibit, Folk Toys of the World. May 18, Mingei Museum, mingei.org

2. Astronomy fans, now is your chance to meet a real star! Buzz Aldrin signs copies of his book Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. What better way to celebrate 50 years of a museum bringing San Diego a little closer to the final frontier? May 22, San Diego Air & Space Museum, sandiegoairandspace.org

3. Dig out those legwarmers and get ready to celebrate the Museum of Photographic Arts turning 30, ’80’s style. Groove to some Duran Duran and grab a bite from foodtruck favorite Stand and Deliver MIHO Gastrotruck at this special birthday edition of the museum’s POP Thursdays. Celebrate MOPA’s birth year by tacking up your photos at the “Push Pin Party,” just like the museum first did back in 1983. The museums Cinema Select series is going ’80’s too with a patron-selected screening: Hop on the website to vote and start crimping your hair! May 23, Museum of Photographic Arts, mopa.org

4. The birthday blowout continues at the Air & Space Museum with an exotic around-the-world soiree. Come dressed in a costume inspired by the adventures of Robert Ripley, the globetrotter whose travels after unique stories and treasures inspired Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (Some of his amazing artifacts are currently on display at the museum.) With international food, music, dancing and plenty of cocktails, this 50th birthday party will be the toast of Balboa. May 30, San Diego Air & Space Museum, sandiegoairandspace.org

5. Pictures of the Year International, MOPA’s hotly anticipated international photojournalism exhibition, opens May 25. On May 31st, the museum’s month-long birthday celebration concludes with an exclusive peek at POYi's top entries before awards are given the next day. Join Executive Director Deborah Klochko leading a riveting panel discussion featuring several local photojournalists. May 31, MOPA, mopa.org